Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Is the dream of an ’emerging Democratic majority’ dead?

What seems to be happening is that as traditional minority groups are integrating into the mainstream society and becoming more upwardly mobile (on a big picture level, not that every individual minority person is becoming more upwardly mobile), many of their individual members are becoming more conservative in the sense of becoming less concerned with civil rights issues (with basic civil rights now being pretty well established as a matter of law and custom), and are instead becoming concerned with issues like taxes, business regulation, gun laws, crime, abortion, sexual issues, and religious issues if they are more economically, socially, or religiously conservative on those issues. Another issue is that a lot of Latinos do not identify as non-white because they’re not non-white, but European-descended, i.e. Spaniards or Portuguese.

By W. James Antle III The Week

A new Wall Street Journal poll shows Hispanic voters evenly split between the two parties on the generic congressional ballot for next year’s midterm elections. Perhaps even more shockingly, President Biden would only beat former President Donald Trump by a single point among these voters if the 2024 presidential election was held today.

It’s just one poll, but it is part of a broader trend showing Hispanics beginning to vote more like non-Hispanic whites, and non-white conservatives voting more like white conservatives generally. As is the case among white voters, men tend to be more Republican, women more Democratic; other surveys have similarly found that religion and age also matter in terms of party affiliation.

This dashes much of the conventional wisdom of the Trump era. Many analysts hoped or feared his hardline immigration position, often articulated in a maximally incendiary fashion, would have a similar effect on Hispanic voters that the nomination of Barry Goldwater — one of only six Republican senators to vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — did with Black voters. As late as 1960, GOP presidential candidates still received a third of the Black vote; after Goldwater, they never again made it out of the teens, even in elections where they won 49-state landslides.

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